IFES Announces U.S. Recipients of 2013 Democracy Award

Publication Date: 
11 Sep 2013

News Type:

WASHINGTON (September 11, 2013) The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) will honor Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Representative Kay Granger (R-Texas) with its 2013 Charles T. Manatt Democracy Award. The annual awards dinner will be co-chaired by IFES Vice Chairman William J. Hybl and Competitive Power Ventures Holdings, LLC (CPV) Senior Vice President of External Affairs Peter Galbraith Kelly Jr.

On behalf of IFES, I am proud to honor two prominent U.S. leaders that have shown an outstanding dedication to advancing freedom and democratic values. This award commemorates individuals who share a commitment to the cause of democracy and giving a voice to underrepresented people around the world,” said IFES President and CEO Bill Sweeney.

Senator Durbin is the Senate Majority Whip and the senior United States Senator from Illinois. He is a longtime supporter of international education and exchange through the introduction of visionary study abroad legislation and his support for legislation to ensure the U.S. remains competitive in attracting international talent. He has become an extraordinary leader in advancing international issues. Senator Durbin has consistently supported legislation that positions America to promote freedom, democracy and rule of law around the world. He is committed to advocacy, improving lives and preserving the rights of women and men.

When I think about my travels over my years in Congress, they have often been to countries struggling to build credible and democratic political systems and institutions – countries such as Haiti, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Georgia. In so many of these countries, organizations such as IFES are on the front lines playing long-term, committed roles in helping realize these important aspirations,” said Senator Durbin.

Senator Durbin strengthens our nation’s standing abroad as a global leader,” said dinner co-chair Kelly Jr. “He has dedicated his career to promoting equal opportunities for all and continues to make significant contributions in governance to lay the foundation for present and future leaders in the pursuit of equality, empowerment and education.”

Representative Granger currently serves as Chairwoman of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. She is the first Republican woman to represent Texas in the House of Representatives. Her contributions to democracy and governance have distinguished her as an influential leader. She plays a critical role in overseeing key programs that shape the long-term outcomes of the world’s most precarious regions. Representative Granger’s long-standing public service is indicative of her desire to improve lives of vulnerable populations worldwide.

Democracy is the foundation of peace and prosperity, as it holds governments accountable and requires that they respect basic freedoms, individual rights, and the rule of law,” said Congresswoman Granger. “I believe it is a moral obligation that we empower people around the globe to participate in the political process.  This is a mission that I know is shared with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, so it is a privilege to receive their Charles T. Manatt Democracy Award.”

Congresswoman Kay Granger’s remarkable leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs has helped set clear priorities for our nation’s foreign policy,” said dinner co-chair Hybl. She has demonstrated a deep understanding of how inclusive democratic practices can bring much needed stability to volatile environments and the critical role the U.S. plays in supporting this process.

The Charles T. Manatt Democracy Awards are presented each year to a Democrat, Republican and member of the international community who demonstrate the dedication to democracy and human rights embodied by the award’s namesake, former IFES Board of Directors Chairman Charles T. Manatt. Past recipients include Rep. Nita Lowey, (D-N.Y.), Rep David Dreier, (R-Calif.), gender advocate Maimuna Mwidau of Kenya, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Judge Johann Kriegler of South Africa, Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), former United States Agency for International Development Administrator M. Peter McPherson and Lebanese Minister of Interior and Municipalities Ziad Baroud.

For more information about the awards, please visit www.IFES.org/DemocracyAwards.  




As the global leader in democracy promotion, IFES advances good governance and democratic rights by providing technical assistance to election officials; empowering the underrepresented to participate in the political process; and applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle. Since 1987, IFES has worked in over 135 countries, from developing democracies, to mature democracies. For more information, visit www.IFES.org.